Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gameday Preview: Stars at Oklahoma City Barons

Texas Stars
11-8-2-2, 26 pts
#4 Western Conference
atOklahoma City Barons
9-10-0-3, 21 pts
#12 Western Conference
December 2nd at 7:00 PM
Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Sometimes, it's darkest before the dawn. Last week, the Stars lost their top defenseman as Jamie Oleksiak headed up to Dallas, probably for good, with the injury of Stephane Robidas. Last night, Texas left for OKC without Travis Morin. Morin is headed to Chicago with Dallas after Aaron Rome's placement on the IR opened up a roster spot.

To boot, Texas's last two games in Grand Rapids were not great. They allowed ten goals total. They put up a fight in the first game, scoring four, but then came out flat in the second, scoring just once.

But from Dallas, hark! Mark Stepneski brings tidings of great joy! Jack Campbell is healthy and could return tonight against Oklahoma City.

The second-year goalie has been sidelined since the early season, last appearing in a game over a month ago. In his two games this season, he's allowed just two goals total. Of course, beware of small sample sizes. However, it's a good sign. Campbell seemed in control of his game and ready to be the starter for Texas.

In his place, Cristopher Nilstorp, Allen York and Josh Robinson have compiled a 9-10-3 record. It's not been world class goaltending in Cedar Park. Goaltending becomes more important as Texas has been allowing a lot of quality shots and may be down in the offensive department with Morin's departure.

The Barons are facing a change up in net of their own. Ty Rimmer is up from Quad City as Tyler Bunz has seemingly fallen off the organizational radar for the Edmonton Oilers. Jason LaBarbera has recalled to Edmonton with Ilya Bryzgalov on the mend from a collision with former Texas Star Ryan Garbutt on Sunday in Dallas.

Since losing to Texas last week, OKC earned three of four points against San Antonio, losing in a shootout and then winning outright.

Stars injury/call up report:
Oleksiak, Morin (callup)
Campbell (injury, probable)

Website: okcbarons.com
Blog (unofficial): NewsOK's Barons Hockey
Twitter: @OKCBaronsHockey

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